The Village of Flower Hill is experimenting with social media to reach residents and provide emergency information, village Trustee Brian Herrington said.
Flower Hill recently became the first Port Washington village to launch a Facebook page.
“Facebook is a new way for us to reach the community,” Herrington said. “We want to make it a tool in the village’s communication.”
Herrington said that the town discussed ways to better reach residents, and it noticed that other municipalities like the Town of North Hempstead and the Village of North Hills used social media to interact with residents.
The town researched social media platforms, considering Twitter and other websites, before ultimately deciding that Facebook would reach the widest audience, Herrington said.
Kathy Wade, the village treasurer, did a fabulous job researching the possibilities, Herrington said, “and when it came down to it, Facebook just seemed like the right choice.’’
Currently, the village sends a monthly newsletter through the mail, but Herrington said he believes that with the Facebook page, the village will be able to reach residents with more information more quickly.
“Research shows that smartphone users check their Facebook at least 14 times a day,” Herrington said, “so we’ll be able to reach our residents with information at a faster rate.”
Because Flower Hill is located in Port Washington, Manhasset and Roslyn, Herrington said there’s some disconnect between the three communities and the village has always sought to bring them together.
“The challenge is reaching people with information in three different communities,” Herrington said. “For governments, it’s new and it’s a way to provide the residents with the information they need.”
Last year, the village began using Code Red, a system that sends alerts and provides residents with emergency information. To help offer that service to all of its residents, Herrington said the village is offering information and a button to click on the Facebook page.
Since the page’s soft launch on Aug. 2, Herrington said that community has responded well, following the page and interacting with the posts by liking them and commenting on them.
“It’s early and it’s hard to tell at this point, but so far we’ve gotten a good response from the residents,” Herrington said. “We post information about Hempstead Harbor and people took interest in it by liking the post.”
At the August Board of Trustees meeting, the board addressed residents’ concerns about people speeding through the village. However, not many people were in attendance, so the village posted information about speed limits and safe driving on Facebook to reach more people. The post accumulated likes and comments.
“As we put out more content, we think we’ll see more people liking and following the page,” Herrington said.